Once upon a time, a long time ago, my paternal grandfather made me a dollhouse.
It wasn’t just a dollhouse. It was a DOLLHOUSE. Duling-style. Big, big and BIG! It had three floors and two stairs and 11 rooms and a front porch and cedar shingles and cedar shutters and wood trim around the windows. The backside of the roof on the upper level was hinged and opened to reveal a 3-room attic.
It was dollhouse heaven. Or, what I would have imagined dollhouse heaven to be, had I been a dollhouse-kind-of girl. Instead, the dollhouse sat in my bedroom, and I looked at it from time to time.
I know, Grandpa. I’m sorry.
At some point—I can’t say when—I was inspired to paint it. My paint choices were narrowed down to leftover colours used elsewhere on the farm—peach (my twin bed), brown (Justin’s twin bed) and green (Really, what on our farm hasn’t been touched up with John Deere green?). I selected peach with brown trim work. Very early ’90s of me.
Mom helped me, and I’m sure she ended up doing most of the painting. The outside was lovely. Lovely and peach. Very peach. While the paint was still drying, we began picking out items for the inside—carpet, linoleum, wallpaper, more paint (the outside AND inside could NOT be the same colour), etc. We spruced up two or three of the rooms and added some stepping stones to the front porch before I lost interest, after which Mom gave up entirely.
And, so, the dollhouse languished. Half-painted. Mostly empty. In the patio. And then, in the shed, covered with a sheet. Poor dollhouse.
I really am sorry, Grandpa.
Eventually, I passed it on to Joshua, who stored it in his garage. His wife dabbled in decorating it some more but their eventual two boys took no interest in it and, thus, she lost interest, too. Turns out their boys are more into barns and tractors.
You’d be proud of them, Grandpa.
A few weeks back, my sister-in-law let me know that she was ready to either give the dollhouse back to me or find another home for it.
What a dilemma. I know; I can hear all of my girl cousins yelling at me: “Dilemma?! What dilemma?!!”
Did I take the dollhouse back and store it for some day down the road when I’ll think about children of my own, or did I make some young woman’s dream come true and pass a dollhouse on to her?
Well, I decided to do both. Because one day, I might have a wee little girl who loves a good dollhouse. But, for the moment, I have a mother-in-law who can’t wait to get a hold of it.
So, this past weekend, my brother returned the dollhouse to the shed of yore, in preparation for its trip to the Great White North. He warned me that the house had had some “updates” done, including paint-testing and shutter-replacing, etc. Thank goodness they left all the spots untouched that indicated my growing weary of painting—my name printed everywhere. In paint.
One day, this here dollhouse will shine like a brand-new penny. One day.
You’d be proud, Grandpa.